Cochin vs Orpington – What is the Difference?

Cochin and Orpington chickens are some of the popular exotic chicken breeds today. These two breeds have almost similar sizes, color varieties, and appearance, making chicken keepers confuse these two chicken species.

Although Cochin and Orpington chickens have identical traits, they have notable differences in appearance, size, weight, temperament, and egg and meat production.

What are Cochin Chickens?

Cochin chickens are large domestic chickens native to Asia, particularly China. These large-feathered chickens became popular in North America and Europe between the 1840s and 1850s.

What are Orpington Chickens?

Orpington chickens are large English-breed chickens. In the fall of the 19th century, these chickens became popular in England upon breeding by William Cook from Kent, southeast England. The dual-purpose chickens are ideal for meat and egg production.

Cochin vs Orpington Chicken

Every chicken keeper who intends to keep either Cochin or Orpington chickens would like to know the difference between these chicken species. Check this comparison between Cochin and Orpington chickens.

– Appearance

The Cochin chicken is a large chicken breed with distinct fluffy feathers. Its excessive plumage covers the legs and feet. Cochin chickens have remarkable yellow-colored skin under their feathers. These chickens come in multiple colors. Some Cochin chickens can be black, blue, buff, red, white, and golden lace.

Orpington chickens have distinct heavy, broad bodies. Their backs are short and curvy, and they also have fluffed-out feathers. These chickens have a thick plumage with distinctive smooth feathers. Orpington chickens can either be blue, white, black, or splash. Furthermore, these chickens have a white skin color.

– Size & Weight

Cochin chicken is a large-sized chicken breed with Cochin hens weighing approximately 8 ½ lb. Cochin roosters can weigh between 10 and 11 lb. Some roosters can weigh more than the average weight.

Orpington chickens are also large, heavy birds. Orpington roosters can weigh around 8.5 pounds. Hens are much lighter compared to roosters since they weigh approximately 6.5 kg. Nonetheless, Orpington chickens aren’t as heavy as they look, thanks to their broad, large bodies that make them appear huge and heavy.

– Temperament

Cochin chickens are relatively lazy compared to most chicken species. These chickens are pretty friendly and calm. Furthermore, Cochin chickens have a maternal nature, making them awesome broodies.

Cochin chickens aren’t aggressive like some exotic chicken breeds. They can be quite submissive when living with other chicken breeds. Their friendly demeanor makes them wonderful pets. These chickens are timid, and they can be cranky upon detecting threats.

Although Cochin chickens are overly docile and calm chicken breeds, roosters can be overprotective over their flocks. Cochin roosters are, however, not as aggressive as roosters from other species. These chickens are easy to handle, and they can also withstand confinement. Cochin hens are especially great mothers, thanks to their maternal nature.

Orpington chickens are also docile and friendly. These hens aren’t cranky, and they aren’t bad-tempered. Their calm and peaceful nature makes them great chickens to add to any chicken flock. Orpington chickens seem to get along with most chicken breeds. They will rarely fight for food, water, or dominance.

Instead, they will act submissively around other aggressive chicken breeds. Orpington chickens are perhaps the easiest chicken breeds to handle. Like other roosters from various chicken breeds, Orpington roosters can be somewhat aggressive, especially while protecting their flocks from predators and intruders.

Orpington chickens can bear confinement quite well. These chickens can thrive well, either as indoor or backyard chickens. The dual-purpose chickens get along well with their owners and kids. Orpington chickens can make fantastic bird pets, especially for kids, thanks to their friendly nature. Their gentle behavior makes these chickens great birds to raise in your home.

– Egg Production

Cochin chickens are moderate layers. Cochin hens can lay between 150 and 180 light brown eggs yearly. Their eggs can be either medium or large-sized. Cochin hens aren’t reliable layers like other egg-laying hens from different species. These hens mature pretty slowly compared to other hens.

They usually start laying when they are between eight and nine months old. Most hens from other breeds start laying when they are around six months old. Although Cochin hens aren’t the best layers, these hens are among the best mothers compared to most hen species.

On the other hand, Orpington chickens are reliable layers. They can lay between 200 and 280 large, light brown eggs. They also reach sexual maturity pretty quickly since Orpington hens start laying at around six months old. These hens are also known for broodiness, besides being excellent mothers. They have a longer laying cycle, unlike their Cochin counterparts.

– Meat Production

Despite being poor layers, Cochin hens are terrific meat producers. They are relatively bigger than most meat chicken breeds, making these chickens awesome meat producers. Cochin roosters are especially good for meat production since they can produce large chunks of meat. Hens also have a decent amount of meat, unlike most hens from various chicken breeds.

Orpington chickens are also great meat producers since there are dual-purpose chicken breeds. They can produce a decent amount of meat since they are among the heaviest chicken breeds.

Nonetheless, Orpington chickens can’t produce more meat than their Cochin counterparts since the latter is much bigger and heavier. That notwithstanding, Orpington chickens are still great chickens for meat.

– Care & Housing

Cochin chickens are easy to maintain, especially for chicken keepers who prefer to keep their flock indoors. These chickens can also free-range. Nonetheless, they eat pretty much, and they tend to become overweight due to overeating. They are easy to raise in a standard coop since they can withstand harsh climatic conditions such as cold and snow.

Nonetheless, the coop should be spacious depending on the number of Cochin hens in your flock, considering the large size of Cochin chickens. Cochin hens need a regular supply of water and feed for optimal growth. Hens require protein-rich food to boost their egg production, while roosters need plenty of protein to grow huge and lean meat.

Orpington chickens are also easy to raise since they don’t need special housing requirements. These chickens can do well both outdoors and indoors. Hens require plenty of nest boxes since they are terrific layers. Furthermore, these chickens need a complete diet and plenty of water for proper growth.

They are hardy and less likely to succumb to common poultry diseases. However, they still need a large coop since they are a large chicken breed. Orpington hens also need plenty of vitamins and proteins to lay a decent amount of eggs.


Both Cochin and Orpington chickens are nice chicken breeds to raise. With these two breeds, you can get a good supply of eggs and meat. Depending on what you want in a chicken breed, you can choose to either add Cochin chickens or Orpington chickens to your flock.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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